Riverdale Gazette

December 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Riverdale Families,

Although the holiday celebrations are minimal this year, the holiday spirit is still alive and well. Sure, there aren’t the concerts we’re used to coming to see or the parties in the classrooms; however the excitement of students is still there. Students are coming into school talking about the celebration they had the previous night lighting that night’s candle of Hanukkah. As students walk into school in the morning, Santa hats are acting as their winter hats. Most notable - there is nothing quite like the buzz of excitement that comes with an upcoming 1 ½ week vacation from school!

To add to the excitement, I want to congratulate the entire Riverdale Community on your following of the protocols set forth by Riverdale School, Dedham Public Schools and the various government agencies around COVID-19. Due to everyone doing their part, we have had only one confirmed positive case of COVID-19 with a direct Riverdale School member, and there were no close contacts because of the adherence to protocols. When I tell colleagues around the district and across the state, they are astonished by this, which makes this Principal very proud! That being said, I can say with confidence that we will have more cases...and that’s ok! If we all remember to follow protocols and play our parts, these cases will be contained and we will continue the trend of the virus not spreading in schools.

Finally, I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to the families and community members of Riverdale for their enormous generosity over the past month, during what is always a time of need. Thanks to all of you, our families are able to give gifts on each night of Hanukkah, have gifts under trees, food in refrigerators and heat running through homes. We are a strong community and that is something for which I will always be thankful and proud!

I send you all the warmest wishes for a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy and Healthy New Year! Enjoy the vacation...we have all certainly earned it!!


Ed Paris, Principal

Counselor's Corner - Mrs. Elaine Sheehy, LICSW

Thanks to the generosity of the Riverdale community, our PTO and Riverdale parent Lindsey Looney, we were able to meet the needs of all Riverdale families that requested Thanksgiving holiday help this year. Dedham’s Food Pantry, St Vincent de Paul group, COVID-19 relief fund and Power of Community group all contributed. Please allow me to express appreciation on behalf of the families who felt the warmth of this community on Thanksgiving. Thank you to everyone who donated gift cards. We are in good shape for providing Winter holiday help and year long as –needed support as well.

It is not too late to contact me if you need assistance with holiday gifts for your family this year. Please call or e-mail if you would like to be involved in the gift program as a donor or a recipient.

Click this link for a comprehensive list of resources and recommendations for managing your emotional health amidst the Covid-19 pandemic:

Emotional Wellbeing during the Pandemic

Feeling stressed? Take a few minutes for yourself this winter. Visit Committee for Children’s YouTube channel every Monday through the end of January for a short video about mental health, presented by a licensed clinical psychologist. The weekly self-care videos will also include a daily practice grounded in research and SEL. These Winter Well-Being videos are created especially for parents. Share them with your students’ families or watch them yourself! Self-Care Videos

Happy, Healthy Holiday Season Everyone!

Elaine Goldberg Sheehy esheehy@dedham.k12.ma.us 781-310-2709 direct line

Nurse's Notes - Judy Byrne, R.N

NEW THIS YEAR, the influenza vaccine is mandatory and must be completed by December 31, 2020.

PLEASE send in your flu documentation ASAP. If your child has had a recent physical the flu vaccine is listed under the immunizations.

THANK YOU to the families who have already done this!

Ask a Grader

Ask a first grader to be a digraph detective by finding words with digraphs in books, menus, newspapers. etc.

Ask a second grader about a holiday other than Christmas.

Ask a third grader to explain what a picture graph is.

Ask a fourth grader to show how they would give equal shares using equivalent fractions. Example: 4 friends want to share 6 cupcakes. How much would each friend get?

Ask a fifth grader to share a fact or two that they have been fascinated/interested by when reading nonfiction during Reader's Workshop.

Important Dates

December 23-31 - Winter Vacation, No School

January 6 - Professional Development Day, No School

January 18 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day, No School


Thank you for the heartfelt generosity of our Riverdale Families for the Food Drive and to the 5th Grade committee for running it.
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